Ranchi, June 2 : Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Thursday sought the support of Babulal Marandi’s JVM-P for its candidate Basant Soren for one of the two Rajya Sabha seats from the state that are to be filled next week.
JMM Executive President Hemant Soren, who is also Basant’s brother, met Marandi at his residence here and sought the support of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).
“Hemant Soren has sought our party support and we will take decision at a party meeting,” Marandi told reporters.
Going by its strength in the state assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Pary (BJP) is certain to win one of the two Rajya Sabha seats from the state — for which it has nominated central minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
The other seat has become an electoral contest after the BJP decided to try its luck, despite falling short of seven legislators, and fielded industrialist Mahesh Poddar.
A Rajya Sabha nominee will need the support of at least 27 members of assembly in order to get elected.
In 82-member assembly, the BJP has the support of 47 legislators and two Independents Bhanu Pratap Sahi and Geeta Koda. The JMM has 19 legislators.
The Congress with seven assembly members has reportedly agreed to support the JMM’s nominee, so has Marxist Co-ordination Committee (MCC) with one legislator. That takes the JMM’s support base to 27.
The JVM-P with two legislators can further strengthen that number to 29, but the JMM cannot take it for granted because Marandi’s party has criticised Sorens for promoting their family in politics.
The ruling BJP, on the other hand, is expecting support of a few Independents and smaller parties for Mahesh Poddar.
What is interesting to note here, however, is that the JVM-P has filed a petition in the Jharkhand High Court seeking to put on hold the voting of six legislators who defected from the party and joined the BJP last year.
In the Rajya Sabha poll, no whip is generally issued, which means there can be cross-voting.
The JMM is particularly vulnerable to cross-voting because some of its legislators are reportedly unhappy that party chief Shibu Soren is promoting another of his son, Basant, in politics instead of a more deserving person.